Early intervention in schizophrenia saves lives. But are enough people receiving it?

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  1. Michelle

    EPI is a great approach, but it isn’t readily available to those in need in ON or Canada more broadly. People who know people struggling with schizophrenia or psychosis know that support needs to be available at any time, not just when it suits the system. Sometimes you only have a glimmer of a moment to get your loved one in a car to a hospital or clinic before the opportunity passes. Referrals are often a prerequisite for inclusion in such programs, which pose massive barriers to access. Especially amongst a population with low levels of trust in institutions, health care providers, bureaucracy etc. Not having access to a primary care physician also poses problems in accessing these services, and ongoing care/treatment barriers persist. My brother struggles with his diagnosis and access to supportive care. It had meant multiple hospitalizations and bouts of psychosis since his initial diagnosis. It also means that he is suffering from poorer health and social outcomes, which as someone you love is hard to stand by and watch.

  2. Cynthia Leung

    When I used to work in mental health, I often empathized the newly diagnosed patients with schizophrenia. They are usually in their teens or early twenties – often had a relative normal life up until their diagnosis. It seems that their lives just started falling part, they cannot finish schooling, have difficult holding down a job. Often friends and acquaintances they knew before their diagnosis would not have a good understanding of their condition – so misunderstanding or alienation may occur. Hence their social lives would also be falling apart. They often feel alone – their family members may only starting to learn about the condition and not necessarily know how to support them. This is just the beginning of a journey that may be haunted with many repeat hospitalizations and / or other unpleasant events. Early support is vital. But finding a cure is the answer.

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